Policies on COVID-19 at Osaka Metropolitan University/Osaka Prefecture University/Osaka City University (Fourth edition)
Jun 15, 2022
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection and ensure study opportunities for students, the universities are taking thorough infection prevention measures while monitoring the number of cases on campus and in Osaka prefecture.
Students, faculty, and staff are asked to follow the points outlined in section 1. ‘Daily life’ and to act carefully to prevent discrimination and prejudice from spreading.
If a student, faculty member, or staff member is confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, the extent of suspension of activities on campus should be promptly determined in order to prevent secondary or tertiary infection, and necessary measures should be taken following instructions of Public Health Centers.
It has also become clear that the spread of infection can be prevented by wearing masks, avoiding the Three Cs, and thoroughly implementing appropriate infection prevention measures such as proper ventilation and hand washing. Students, faculty, and staff will work together as a team to review this policy as necessary to ensure that we do not succumb to this pandemic and that we are able to return to a fulfilling student life and a safe campus life as soon as possible.
1. Daily life
Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to keep implementing the 'new lifestyle’ and pay close attention to infection control.
(1) Basic daily infection prevention measures
✓Check your temperature every morning
Even if you only experience relatively mild cold symptoms such as fever and cough, refrain from going out and recuperate at home, or visit a medical institution, and contact your school/department as soon as possible.
✓Wash and disinfect your hands frequently
Wash your hands properly for at least 30 seconds.
✓Carry alcohol disinfectant when going out
✓Wear masks and practice cough etiquette
・Unless there are special reasons such as allergies, always wear a mask (even when eating or drinking, make sure to wear a mask during conversation).
・Wear your mask properly (make sure to cover your nose and mouth without gaps).
・Non-woven masks are recommended (non-woven masks are highly effective in blocking dispersion and inhalation of saliva droplets).
* Even when you are not talking, not wearing a mask for just a few minutes increases your risk of infection. Pay extra attention when eating side-by-side or face-to-face without partitions and when brushing your teeth. Such activities result in extra dispersion of saliva droplets.
* When temperature and humidity levels are high, wearing masks may increase the risk of heat stroke. Please refer to the following document (in Japanese) for indoor and outdoor mask wearing practices.
✓Ventilate your room frequently and maintain an appropriate humidity level
Ventilate your room as much as possible. If this is difficult, try to reduce the amount of virus by opening your windows for a few minutes at least once every 30 minutes. Pay special attention when inside a car.
✓Use cashless payments when shopping, etc.
(2) Avoid the Three Cs (Closed spaces, Crowded spaces, and Close-contact settings)
✓Keep a distance of 2 meters (at least 1 meter) from each other
✓Even outdoors, be careful of crowds and close contact, avoid approaching crowds, and refrain from talking loudly.
✓Wear a mask when talking and avoid face-to-face conversation whenever possible.
✓Please eat individually and silently.
✓When having a meal together, please strictly observe the following conditions:
(1) Visit restaurants that have the infection prevention certification OSAKA Gold sticker (*1).
(2) Have your meal within about 2 hours.
(3) Ensure "quiet masked meals" (remove your masks only when eating and drinking, and wear your masks when talking).
(4) Make a note of everyone's contact information in case of emergency.
* Even if the above conditions are strictly observed, be aware that there is still a risk of infection and be sure to take thorough measures to prevent infection.Similarly, there is always a risk of infection when eating without masks even outdoors (barbecue, etc.). Please pay close attention to infection control.
✓Refrain from entering places where people are likely to socialize in close quarters and in poorly ventilated spaces. (For example, karaoke bars, live music venues, etc.)
✓At events and facilities where an unspecified number of people gather, such as live music venues, sports gyms, etc., strictly adhere to infection prevention measures required by the organizers and facilities.
(3) Infection prevention measures when travelling
✓Avoid congested places and times, and work in small groups.
✓Take thorough infection prevention measures when moving between prefectures, and refrain from activities that have a high infection risk.
✓Make a note of whom you meet, when, and where, in case you get infected.
✓When using public transportation, be sure to wear a mask, avoid touching your face with your hands, and thoroughly wash and disinfect your hands after getting off.
(4) Make use of ‘Osaka COVID-19 Tracking System’
✓When using facilities where an unspecified number of people gather, register your email address on the ‘Osaka COVID-19 Tracking System,’ provided by the Osaka Prefecture government.
(5) Make use of the COVID-19 Contact Confirmation Application 'COCOA'
✓Register on the COVID-19 Contact Confirmation Application 'COCOA' to keep yourself informed of places where infections have occurred. The application is provided by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
Classes for the first semester of FY2022 will be conducted face-to-face (including hybrid classes *) with thorough infection prevention measures in place to ensure ties between students and the university as well as between students themselves, and from the viewpoint of educational effectiveness. However, classes that meet certain conditions will be conducted remotely in order to avoid the spread of infection.
*If more than half of the classes are conducted face-to-face, it will be referred to as “hybrid classes.” Otherwise, it will be referred to as “remote classes.”
3. Entrance to the campus
Please make sure that your temperature is normal before entering the campus. Also, please be sure to wear a non-woven mask when on campus, unless you have special reasons such as allergies.
4. Extracurricular activities such as clubs
Face-to-face activities are permitted, provided that the prior procedures are observed.
5. Infection prevention measures regarding student mobility
To prevent the re-spread of infection after quasi-emergency measures were lifted, students are recommended to travel in small groups, avoid congested places and times, and take thorough measures to prevent the spread of infection.
6. Research activities of faculty members and students
Research activities of faculty members (including researchers, undergraduate and graduate students) shall be classified as "Level 1 - Restricted (Minor)" in the Research Restriction Guidelines.
When conducting research activities using university facilities, please observe the precautions set forth by the university. In addition, please ensure that you control access to laboratories and other facilities and that you monitor the health status of faculty members and others.
*If you have not complied with these guidelines, the use of the laboratory will be suspended for a period of time in order to ensure a safe research environment.
7. Holding events
Face-to-face events will be permitted only if the following precautions are taken:
- The number of participants is less than half of the maximum capacity.
- Alcohol disinfectant solution is installed in each venue (a sufficient number of alcohol disinfectant solution should be installed according to the number of participants).
- All participants wear masks and wash their hands.
- Adequate distance between people is maintained (2 meters if possible, at least 1 meter).
- A list of participants or otherwise track contacts is conducted. (Keep track of all participants.)
- All participants are encouraged to go directly to and from the event.
*When eating and/or drinking, please practice "quiet masked meals” and make a list of all participants to track their contacts when necessary. No alcohol is to be served.
*If an event with more than 5,000 participants and a capacity ratio of more than 50% is to be held, an "Infection Prevention Safety Plan" describing specific infection prevention measures must be formulated and submitted to Osaka Prefecture.
8. Rental of universities’ facilities
Usage of facilities is permitted for persons in charge, provided that they comply with the infection prevention measures stipulated by the universities. However, in the case of the spread of infection, rental of facilities will be suspended.
9. Entrance examination
During the entrance exams in FY2022, measures to prevent the spread of infection will be put in place in accordance with the "OMU Guidelines for prevention of the spread of infection in the 2023 entrance examinations" and notifications newly issued by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
10. Overseas travel
(1) Travel to countries and regions with infectious disease risk level 1 is permitted with caution.
(2) Travel to countries and regions with infectious disease risk levels 2 and 3 is prohibited in principle but may be considered on a case-by-case basis when necessary. In principle, please submit a Notification of Overseas Travel (海外渡航に関する届け出) and Pledge at the Time of Travel (渡航時の誓約書) to your school/department and make sure to follow the designated procedure (refer to Section 11. Overseas travel and exchange programs for students).
(3) Travel to countries and regions with infectious disease risk level 4 is not permitted.
11. Overseas travel and exchange programs for students
(1)Permissions will be considered regarding travel and exchange programs for students*to countries and regions with infectious disease risk levels 2 or 3 by September 30, 2022, if certain conditions are met. Based on overseas travel standards, criteria and decisions will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
*For example: overseas exchange programs, approved study abroad programs, overseas study programs of the government and others, overseas research exchange programs, international conferences, field surveys.
(2) In principle, overseas programs (group programs such as language training and study tours for one month or less) to countries and regions with infectious disease risk levels 2 or 3 during the summer vacation of FY2022 will be cancelled. However, in case such cancellation would be difficult, please consult the International Relations Division.
(3) Students who are accepted for the first semester of FY2022 (including those who postpone their arrival in Japan from the previous semester) will be accepted after confirming that they can fulfill certain quarantine measures and other commitments in accordance with the government’s policy. In the case that home quarantine requirements after entry into Japan are still in effect, the International House I-Wing (Nakamozu C) cannot be used as a quarantine area.
12. Returning to/entering Japan from overseas (including personal travel)
In principle, the procedures for students and faculty/staff returning to or entering Japan from overseas are based on the border enforcement measures of the Japanese government. In addition, the following measures should be taken:
(1) For 7 days after returning/reentering, please keep a record of your physical condition and temperature to ensure you don’t have symptoms of fever or cough.
(2) In addition to careful observation of your physical condition for 7 days, please stay at an accommodation facility designated by the quarantine station chief or at home according to the risk in the country of stay for the period specified by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
*For the latest information on border measures, please refer to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare website.
https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/covid-19/bordercontrol.html (in English)
https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/0000121431_00209.html (in Japanese)
(3) If you have symptoms such as fever or cough, do not go to a medical institution directly, but first consult the Osaka Prefectural Consultation Office or the jurisdictional public health center and follow their instructions. Additionally call the university Health and Medical Services Center.
13. Accepting/inviting researchers from overseas
In principle, researchers from countries with infectious disease risk level 2 or higher are not allowed to be invited. However, this does not apply if certain quarantine measures and other criteria are met in accordance with the government's policy to resume international travel gradually.
In the case that home quarantine requirements after entry into Japan are still in effect, the International House I-Wing (Nakamozu C) cannot be used as a quarantine area.
14. Measures to prevent the spread of infection for faculty and staff
(1) In principle, faculty and staff who have the symptoms described in section 16. should stay home.
(2) Actively encourage telecommuting and staggered work hours to the extent possible in the course of work and minimize overtime work.
(3) Allow commuting by car in order to prevent infection from using public transportation.
(4) Review the necessity of holding various meetings and the number of attendees, cancel any meetings that are not necessary or urgent, and use e-mail, telephone, and video conferencing to the extent possible.
15. Domestic business trips by faculty and staff
When travelling within Japan, please ensure that basic infection prevention measures are taken and refrain from any activities with a high risk of infection at the destination. During business trips, please thoroughly follow the "new lifestyle" (especially infection prevention measures related to transportation).
16. For those who may be infected
(1) Symptoms of suspected infection
Those who apply to the following (A), (B) and (C) should promptly call your family doctor or the New Corona Consultation Center (新型コロナ受診相談センター) at local public health centers or jurisdictional public health centers in Osaka Prefecture, follow their directions, and also contact the department/school to which they belong.
A: Those who have severe symptoms of breathlessness (dyspnea), fatigue (malaise), fever, severe sore throat, or altered smell/taste
B: Those who easily become seriously ill (*) and have relatively mild cold symptoms such as fever and cough
*Elderly people and those with underlying diseases (diabetes, heart failure, respiratory disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, etc.), those undergoing dialysis, and those taking treatments with immunosuppressants or anti-cancer agents, etc.
C: Those other than the above, yet continue to have relatively mild cold symptoms such as fever and cough
*If symptoms continue for more than two days, please be sure to contact the New Corona Consultation Center. As symptoms differ between individuals, if you think you have severe symptoms, please contact the center immediately. Those who must continue taking antipyretics also need to do the same.
(Reference) Consultation Centers for New Type Corona (Consultation Centers for Returnees/Contact Persons)
For public health centers in Osaka Prefecture, please refer to the "List of Public Health Centers" on the following page:
http://www.pref.osaka.lg.jp/iryo/osakakansensho/corona-denwa.html (in Japanese)
(2) If you are identified as a close contact with infected persons
If you are identified as a person with close contact with an infected person by public health centers or the universities, please stay at home for the period of time instructed by the Public Health Center.
If you are identified as a high-risk contact with an infected person by public health centers please also inform your department/school of the detailed instructions provided by the public health center.
17. Measures when possibly in contact with infected individuals
If you or your family members have come into contact with infected individuals or have been in an area at the time an outbreak occurred, or if you have any concerns that you may have come into contact with infected individuals, please contact the department/school you belong to.
In addition, since home infections are increasing, please be aware of the eight points in the last section of Appendix 2 if you suspect that your family member is infected.
*For the time being, Osaka Prefecture is offering free testing sites for asymptomatic prefectural residents who are concerned about infection. If you have even the slightest concern about infection, please check the following URL and take the test.
Osaka Prefecture Free Testing Service (in Japanese)
- It has been reported that slander and unfounded rumors about infected people, etc. are spreading on social media. Our students, faculty, and staff members are asked to be calm, act based on correct information, and never direct abuse toward infected persons, foreigners, and medical personnel, etc. If you feel like someone's basic human rights are being violated, please contact the department/ school that you belong to.
- If you have any concern about student life, study, friends, employment, infection, etc., please do not hesitate to consult with the Student Consultation Desk (please see the URL below for details).
Student Consultation Desk (学生なんでも相談窓口)
Useful websites (in Japanese):
- Osaka Metropolitan University COVID-19 Information Website
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Prime Minister's Office of Japan
- Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare
- Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology-Japan
- Embassy of Japan in China
- Infectious Disease Surveillance (IDSC)
- Osaka Prefectural Government